« ForrigeFortsæt »
years before his death his eyes and memory began to fail; but his hearing and senses continued sound to the last. In his 152nd year his fame had reached London ; and as the king was desirous of seeing so great a rarity, he was induced to undertake a journey thither. This, in all probability, shortened his existence, which he otherwise might have preserved some years longer; for he was treated at Court in so royal a manner, and his mode of living was so totally changed, that he died soon after, at London, in 1635. He was 152 years and nine months old, and had lived under nine kings of England.
What was most remarkable in regard to old Parr is, that when his body was opened by Dr. Harvey, his bowels were found to be in the most perfect state, nor were the least symptoms of decay to be discovered in them. His cartilages were not even ossified, as is the case in all old people. The smallest cause of death had not yet settled in his body; and he died merely of a plethora, because he had been too hospitably entertained. Thus Parr is a proof that, in many families, a constitution so favourable to longevity may transmit a remarkably good stamen vitæ. His great grandson died at Cork, some thirty or forty years ago, at the age of 103.
The history of Drakenburg, the Dane, is nearly an instance of the same kind. This individual was born in 1626, served as a seaman in the royal navy till the 91st year of his age, and spent fifteen years of his life as a slave in Turkey, and in the greatest misery. When he was 111, and had settled, to enjoy tranquillity, he resolved to marry, and united himself to a woman of three score. He, however, outlived her a long time; and, in his 130th year, fell in love with a young country girl, who rejected his proposal. He then tried his fortune with several others; but as he had no better success, he at length resolved to continue single, and in that condition lived 16 years. He died in 1772 in the 146th year of his age. He was a man of a violent temper; and exhibited frequent proofs of his strength during the last years of his life.
In the year 1757, J. Effingham died in Cornwall, in the 144th year of his age. He was born of poor parents, in the reign of James I., and had been brought up to labour from his infancy. He had served long as a soldier, and had been present at the battle of Hocksledt. He at length returned to the place of his nativity, and worked as a day-labourer till his death. It is to be observed, that in his youth he never drank heating liquors; that he always lived remarkably temperate, and seldom eat animal food. Till his 100th year he scarcely knew what sickness was; and, eight days before his death, he had walked eight miles.
In 1792, died, in the Dutchy of Holstein, an industrious day-labourer, named Stender, in the 103d year of his age. His food, for the most part, consisted of oat-meal and butter-milk. He rarely eat animal food; and what he used was much salted. He was scarcely ever thirsty, and consequently drank but seldom. He was fond of smoking tobacco. In his old age he first began to drink tea, and sometimes coffee. He lost his
teeth early. He was never sick; and never lost his temper, that is, it was physically impossible that his gall could overflow. He cautiously avoided every kind of strife. He placed the greatest trust in providence; and this christianlike confidence constituted his greatest consolation against the cares and troubles of the world.
In 1792, an old soldier, named Mittelstedt, died in Prussia, in the 182d year of his age. He was born at Tersahn, in that country, in 1681 ; and was lost at the gaming-table by his master, who one evening staked his whole equipage and six more servants. He then entered the army, and served as a soldier sixtyseven years. He was present in all the campaigns under Frederick William I. and Frederick II., and, in particular, in those of the war of seven years; and had been engaged in seventeen general actions, in which he braved numberless dangers, and received many wounds. In the seven years' war his horse was shot under him, and he was then taken prisoner by the Russians. After supporting all these difficulties he married; and, having lost two wives, he married a third, in 1790, when he was in the 110th year of his age. A little time before his death, he was still able to walk two miles every month, to receive his small pension.
The same year (1792) died at Neus, in the archbishoprick of Cologne, H. Kauper, aged 112. He was a man of strong make; had been accustomed to walk a little every day; could read till his death without spectacles; and retained the use of his senses to the last.
Thomas Garrik was alive in 1795, in the county of Fife, in the 108th year of his age. He still possessed great vigour; and was celebrated on account of his extraordinary appetite. For twenty years he had never been confined to his bed by sickness.
In 1798 there was living a man at Tacony, near Philadelphia, named R. Glen, a shoemaker, in the 114th
of his age. He was a Scotsman, had seen William III., enjoyed the perfect use of his sight and memory, ate and drank with a keen appetite, had a good digestion, laboured the whole week, and on Sunday walked to the church at Philadelphia. His third wife was still alive ; she was thirty years of age, and seemed perfectly satisfied with the behaviour of her husband.
A certain Baron Baravicino de Capallis died in 1776, at Meran, in the Tyrol, at the age of 104. He had been married to four wives: the first he married in his 14th, and the last in his 84th year. By his fourth wife he had seven children, and when he died she was big with the eighth. The vigour of his body and mind did not forsake him till the last months of his life. He never used spectacles ; and, when at a great age, would frequently walk a couple of miles. His usual food was eggs; he never tasted boiled flesh; sometimes he ate a little roasted, but always in very small quantity; and he drank abundance of tea, with rosa solis and sugar candy.
Anthony Senish, a farmer, in the village of Puy, in Limoges, died in 1770, in the 111th year of his
Siberia, men attain at most to the age only of 60 or 70. Besides England and Scotland, Ireland is celebrated for the longevity of its inhabitants. In Dunsford, a small place in that country, there were living at one time eighty persons above the age of four
And Lord Bacon says, there was not a village in the whole island, as he believed, in which there was not one man upwards of 80.
In France instances of longevity are not so abundant; though a man died there, in the year 1757, at the age of 121.
The case is the same in Italy; yet in the northern province of Lombardy, there have been some instances of great age.
In Spain also there have been some instances, though seldom, of men who lived to the age of 110.
Greece is still as celebrated as it was formerly in regard to longevity. Tournefort found at Athens an old consul, who was 118 years of age. The island Naxos is particularly famous on this account.
Even in Egypt and India there are instances of long life, particularly among the Brahmins, anchorites, and hermits, who detest the indolence and intemperance of the other inhabitants of these countries.
Ethiopia was formerly much celebrated for the longevity of its inhabitants; but Bruce gives contradictory accounts of this.
Some districts of Hungary are distinguished by the great age of the people who reside in them. Germany contains abundance of old persons; but it affords few